NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON GALAMSEY: Is President Nana Akufo-Addo not a Galamseyer?

A statement by Action Movement Youth Volunteers, (AMYV).

It is a common legal maxim that, “he who comes into equity must come with clean hands.” Not so?

We are saddened to hear President Akufo-Addo asking illegal miners to stop the act when every little child knows that some members of his party and government are galamsey kingpins.

It is strongly believed that the presidency hijacked small scale mining and made it a preserve of its party members.

We don’t believe one bit in the sincerity of the President making a so-called clarion call on stakeholders to end illegal mining in the country.

It is our belief that the President does not have the legitimate right to stop ordinary illegal miners from mining when the President closed his eyes to the activities of his party and government officials in the illegal mining. There is an Akan saying that if you are an Elder and you sit unconcerned for your household to feast on a royal python, when the “eaters” of the python are being countered, you will be deemed to be a partaker in the royal python feast? So, if the President sat aloof and unconcerned about the reports of the active participation of his party and government officials in galamsey, does President Akufo-Addo not qualify as a GALAMSEYER?

In July 2018, the Concerned Small-Scale Miners Union of Ghana (CSSMUG) called for the immediate arrest and suspension of the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John and the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, also known as Wontumi for their alleged engagement in illegal small-scale mining.

Again, illegal mining activities were discovered in Atiwa forest. Information from Community Forest Forum members in Kobreso, indicated that a site specifically close to the area was under attack from mining entities connected to persons at the ‘top’. Elders in the community alleged that Madam Kate Gyemfuaa, the National Women’s Organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) together with one Baba Yangro, the NPP Chairman for the Denkyembuo Constituency (who are both residents of Akwatia in the Eastern Region), were the faces behind the mining activities at Kobreso.

The Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police picked up a top executive of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), over his alleged role in the missing excavators seized from illegal miners. The NPP Central Regional Vice Chairman, Horace Ekow Ewusi, was arrested.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation also disclosed that most of the excavators that were seized from illegal miners had vanished. Vanished to where?

If you go to many places in the country, the DCEs are reported by their community members to be involved in galamsey. the National Executives of the NPP are reportedly involved in galamsey, because they say their party needs money to function.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining was constituted to oversee the implementation of the ban on all forms of small scale mining also known as galamsey and also see to the vetting of small scale miners. It was commissioned in March 2017, by President Akufo-Addo to reform artisanal and small-scale mining in the country.

It was reported that Charles Bissue stepped down from the position after he was seen in a video documentary allegedly collecting bribes to facilitate the issuance of mining licenses.

Nana Addo dissolved the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining because it is believed that he, the former anti- galamsey crusader in Opposition, has smoothly now become the pivot on which galamsey revolves.

As citizens, we will be glad if the questions below can be answered by President Nana Addo:

(1). How many excavators were seized, how many vanished and how many were retrieved?

(2). Has the President called to order his party members and government officials engaged in illegal mining?

(3). Can the President explain to Ghanaians what happened to the Chinese who were caught in illegal mining?

(4). Following the dissolution of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining, did the committee through the President account to Ghanaians all the resources meant for that office?

We expect President Akufo Addo and his government/ party officials to come clean on their involvement in galamsey. Then, they will have the right to stand on the moral high ground to ask their fellow Ghanaians to stop engaging in galamsey.

When President Akufo- Addo seeks equity, he must be seen to be doing equity.

Moses Tettey Dometey (Bola Ray Jnr)
President, Action Movement Youth Volunteers
HP: 0246969345
15th April, 2021.

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